Andy Murray will face Roberto Bautista Agut in a career-best 10th final of the season on Sunday after beating Gilles Simon in the Shanghai Masters.
Bautista Agut claimed a stunning win over world number one Novak Djokovic in the first semi-final of the day, but there were no surprises in the evening session as Murray prevailed 6-4 6-3.
The in-form Murray continued to set the standards at the back end of the season and has now won 18 consecutive sets in racking up nine victories in a row, having taken the China Open title last weekend.
Djokovic is still set to finish the year at the top of the rankings, but Murray is a man on a mission as he attempts to dislodge the out-of-sorts Serb.
Three-time grand slam champion Murray was not firing on all cylinders in a first set in which he trailed 2-0, then failed to hold on another two occasions after turning the tide to lead 4-2 courtesy of some rasping forehands.
Five consecutive games went against serve as both players were guilty of lapses in the opening set, but it was Murray who finally regained his composure and went a set up in style with a magnificent backhand lob on the run.
Murray raised his game in the second set and the unseeded Simon, runner-up in Shanghai two years ago, failed to halt the Brit's momentum as he breezed into a 5-1 lead.
The second seed was dominant from the baseline and took his record against the Frenchman to 15 victories and just two defeats by serving out the match at the second attempt to stand on the brink of a sixth title of the year.